ABC News

ABC News 30 Mar 2020

Officials in Asia push back on need for all to wear face masks


The WHO says it does not generally recommend the wearing of face masks in public.

▶️An orangutan at a Polish zoo showed the world how not to wear a face mask, Friday, April 17.
Staff at Gdansk Zoo, who wear face masks at work to help prevent the spread of the new coronavirus, recently gave 46-year-old Raja a mask to play with.
But instead of covering her face, the orangutan decided to place the mask over her shoulders and wear it on her torso.
Raja, who was born at a zoo in Rostock, Germany, before being moved to Gdansk, shares her cage with a male orangutan named Albert.
Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs Rosemary Anne DiCarlo, today (20 May) told the Security Council that "there is heightened concern" regarding the standoff and the absence of any serious negotiations between the main political parties in Venezuela, especially amid potentially far-reaching effects of the COVID-19 pandemic."

DiCarlo called for "real negotiations" among Venezuela's main political actors as "the only way forward" and urged "all member states to stand behind this."

President Donald Trump says his administration is encouraging many Americans to wear face masks in public, Friday, April 3, though he stresses that the recommendation is optional.

The latest guidance suggests that Americans use makeshift coverings, such as T-shirts, scarves or bandanas to cover their noses and mouths. Medical-grade masks, especially N95 masks, are to be reserved for those on the front lines of trying to contain the pandemic.

The policy change comes as public health officials are concerned that those without symptoms can spread the virus which causes COVID-19.

Even though many countries began advising citizens to wear face masks in public not long after the coronavirus outbreak started, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, only recently began recommending that people use cloth coverings for their faces in public places, like grocery stores. In Los Angeles, one fashion designer who is also a registered nurse started making face masks even before the U.S. issued the new recommendation. VOA's Elizabeth Lee has the details.

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